Tyrone National Graves Association remembers Volunteer Hugh Gerard Coney, East Tyrone Brigade, who was shot on 6th November 1974 during a mass escape from the cages of Long Kesh.
It was a month after the IRA POWs had destroyed the camp by setting it on fire. The British had tortured the POWs in the aftermath savaging them with dogs, firing rubber bullets and using CR gas to paralyse them.
A month after the burning and the POWs were still living in the ruins of the camp, erecting whatever shelter they could from the charred remains, they used the time to dig a tunnel. On the 6th of November 1974 they tried to escape, Unfortunately, one of the first squads to emerge from the tunnel was spotted by a patrol of British soldiers in a jeep. As the escapees climbed over a ditch on their way towards the outer perimeter fence, the soldiers opened fire without warning, fatally wounding Hugh Gerard and injuring another of the escapees.
The soldiers refused to call a doctor or priest to attend to Hugh Gerard and, according to the statements later made by the recaptured POWs, they foully abused his body as it lay in the ditch.
Hugh Gerard was a highly active Volunteer, he was interned without charge and continued his resistance to British Rule while in Long Kesh.
Remember Hugh Gerard with Pride.
Fuair sé bás ar son saoirse na h-Éireann.